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Study reveals major economic contribution of Aberdeen Airport

18/03/2010

Development plans at Aberdeen Airport over the next 30 years could contribute a net benefit to Scotland's economy of as much as £620 million - according to a study released today*.

The research, commissioned by Aberdeen Airport and supported by ACSEF (Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future), confirms that the airport currently supports around 3,390 jobs and £114 million of gross value added (GVA) annually in Aberdeen City and Shire alone, and £126 million GVA Scotland-wide.

Conducted by York Aviation, the report also suggests that expansion of the airport will provide £1.1 billion of economic benefits (in the form of journey saving, the cost to the overall Scottish economy if the airport were not here at all) to Scotland over the next 30 years.

The study provides an overall assessment of the impact of Aberdeen Airport and its future growth plans on the economic performance of Aberdeen City and Shire.

It concludes that route development work is vital to growing the airport's contribution and improving connectivity. It also points to the need for progress on issues such as the AWPR, highlighting that without improved surface access , any financial benefits will be restricted.

Some of the key factors highlighted in the report:

•Passenger numbers have suffered slightly as a result of the recession but not as badly as in many other airports.

•Aberdeen Airport is a cornerstone of the economy, and industry sectors that support the region’s economic future are heavily reliant on the connectivity already on offer.

•The airport will need to expand that connectivity if it is to fully meet future stakeholder needs.

•Expanding the airport in line with its Master Plan will result in net benefits to the North-east but also to the rest of Scotland, economic benefits that outweigh any costs, with carbon reduction costs included in the equation.

“Transport and connectivity are key to achieving economic growth and enhancing the quality of life in the region,” said Tom Smith, chairman of ACSEF. “The aim of this study was to accurately quantify the economic impact of the airport and underline the significant long-term benefits to be accrued from its future development.

“It is clear that the airport out-performs as a private business but it is also a vital enabler of overall economic growth.  ACSEF’s action plan fully supports the airport’s development plans and will continue to work closely with BAA, the public sector and other bodies involved in major infrastructure to bring them to fruition.

“The very strong findings will be used to sharpen our conversations with Government and other bodies, reinforcing the contribution the region makes to the Scottish and UK economies and the pressing need for investment in infrastructure.

Aberdeen Airport's Managing Director Kevin Brown said "This report serves to confirm the vital importance of Aberdeen Airport to the local economy, and to the wider future prosperity of Scotland as a whole.

"I am pleased to see the study confirm, in black and white, that we really are punching above our weight. It is something that the team here feel very strongly about, but is further cemented by knowing that it is now visible to the wider world.

"This report will form a vital part of our new Master Plan which is being drafted this year to help shape the future of Aberdeen Airport. It makes us confident about the future for the whole North-east, but it is evident from this that we cannot do it on our own, and the airport relies on major infrastructure projects"

A significant finding was the key part that connectivity plays in the future growth of the airport and the wider economy, and as a result a further study is set to be released later in the year.

- Ends -

Notes to the Editor:

*This figure includes the calculations for construction and carbon costs.

The Executive Summary of the report can be found here and at acsef.co.uk.

Media Enquiries:

Sarah Campbell
Media and Communications Manager
BAA Aberdeen
01224 348500 or 07785 576664

Zoe Corsi
PR Consultant to ACSEF
01224 615014 or 07973983243

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